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Jenise

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:27 pm

Having friends over tonight to accomplish two things: fulfill a promise to teach Rita and Donna how to make risotto, and have a tasting of six cheap chardonnays from Grocery Outlet for this months Wine Focus.

The risotto lesson came up because Donna commented once about having made a shrimp risotto for some group wine tasting dinner (topic: cabernet franc!) event she hosted "because you can make a lot at once ahead of time and just reheat it later". I guess I made a face and that prompted her to say that a person present at that meal (who is one of the finest home cooks I know) was also horrified and that spawned an argument. Donna was clearly hurt--she doesn't know what she doesn't know. So tonight we're going to fix that (though of course there's nothing I can do about the problem of pairing shrimp with cab franc).

So we'll start with Aperol Spritzes, and I'll serve broiled proscuitto-wrapped figs at that point. Then we'll start the chardonnay tasting with tomato bisque topped with marinated chopped plums and opal basil. After that, we'll make the risotto together, and I have some decent Italian whites for that if the chards don't hold up. And lastly, we'll finish with a salad of radicchio, frisee, arugula, shiso leaf, raw walnuts and gorgonzola cheese, and I'll pair that with a few La Piane (or is it Le Piane) reds.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Rahsaan

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:27 pm

Jenise wrote:The risotto lesson came up because Donna commented once about having made a shrimp risotto for some group wine tasting dinner (topic: cabernet franc!) event she hosted "because you can make a lot at once ahead of time and just reheat it later". I guess I made a face and that prompted her to say that a person present at that meal (who is one of the finest home cooks I know) was also horrified and that spawned an argument..


I am hardly a risotto expert but I have heard that the key to this is not cooking the rice fully before stopping. (As opposed to making a finished dish and then reheating). Nothing is like the carefully-crafted risotto that is timed to perfection. But, the drop off from perfection is still pretty tasty, especially when you have some nice cheese, butter and some nice stock.

It's one of the dinner party dishes in my rotation, although I usually cook it straight through and the only skimping comes from not worrying about constant stirring (as I attend to other issues/guests/etc).
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:38 pm

Yeah, Donna doesn't understand what you and I do. Hers is more like something you'd run into in the midwest made out of Minute Rice, a copycat style recipe that bears no resemblance to the original but passes muster with people with no experience and low expectations. The texture is like stiff mashed potatoes. And I think she used pre-cooked shrimp--she served it to us once. She's actually a pretty good cook, but she really really doesn't understand this dish at all. She said she's never had it in an Italian restaurant.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:41 pm

Jenise wrote:The texture is like stiff mashed potatoes...


Wow!!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:46 pm

A few days ago I ground up some ancient grain bread that's much like no-yeast pumpernickels I've had in Germany. Lots of wheat berries etc more or less pressed together, and it's rye-ish and fairly sour. I love putting bread crumbs in salads etc, and it occurred to me that this particular bread crumb, soaked in red wine and cream, would make a really great panade for a lamb meat loaf. So that's what I'm making for dinner tonight, lamb meat loaf on roasted zucchini.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:25 pm

Last night's lamb meatloaf: OMG. Tasted as good as I thought it would, and the texture was even more out-of-this-world.

No idea what we're doing tonight.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Barb Downunder

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:45 am

Grilled sour dough, rubbed with fresh tomato, spread with Le cremaux de Bourgogne and topped with fresh watercress.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:03 pm

Bob gave me a book about Persian cooking for my recent birthday, and tonight I'm making an eggplant omelette from the book. It's an interesting blend of eggplant cooked with onion, then finished as a 'cake' with saffron, eggs, flour and baking powder. Perfect for a meatless Monday! Will serve it with broiled tomato halves.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:41 am

I seem to be doing “wraps” a lot. I don’t know if my American friends have items called wraps in the supermarket,but they are pretty much flour tortillas, flexible flat breads. And you certainly have those.

They allow me to stuff them with lots of shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and a protein (grilled meat, left over cooked meat, etc) and then things like caramelised onion, hot sauce, yoghurt and garlic sauce, etc.
Plenty of options, quick and easy, and pretty healthy. Also tasty.
Ticks a lot of boxes for me as I try to learn to eat alone and cook for one.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Robin Garr » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:09 am

That's a really effective way to plan ahead, Barb! And yes, we're all about wraps here Up Over. :)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:47 pm

There are definitely wraps here. But surprisingly few variations (three, say) in American supermarkets vs. what's available just over the border in British Columbia (10 or 12).

So last night's Persian omelet is the best egg dish I've ever made. LOVED IT.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:27 pm

Tonight's dinner will probably be sambar and iddli.

-Paul W.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:20 pm

Reading through an old book called Cuisine of the Sun--classic French cooking of Nice and Provence this morning, with emphasis on the sections on vegetables, including gratins, tians and omelets. Was struck by processes so different from the way I've cooked or had things prepared, like Celery Paysanne, which is celery braised in wine. I had all the right ingredients for that so it's on the menu tonight. To go with that, another lamb meatloaf (or maybe I'll make meatballs), wherein I'm flying on my own power to maximally lower the vegetable/grain-to-meat ratio proportion to 50-60%, say, from the 90%ish norm. I'll let y'all know how that works out tomorrow.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:33 pm

Jenise wrote:Reading through an old book called Cuisine of the Sun

:shock: I LOVE that book! I've had it since it came out. Also its companion, Cuisine of the Rose (Bourgogne). I ached for Mirielle Johnston to do a book on every region of France, but it was just those two and out. I still have them on my shelf, and looking at them just now made me happy.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:33 pm

Bob Ross gave me these, and I love them both. Never thought I'd run into anyone who owned them! They're old, and Bob's had at one time been in a library, it still has that plastic cover with the code on the spine.

Now that you're a vegetarian the Cuisine of the Sun book would have a lot of useful ideas for you. Yeah, sure, she puts salt pork in just about every dish, but ignore that (I'm not a veggie, but I do!). The celery dish I made last night was EXCELLENT. Celery Paysanne. I prepped the celery earlier in the day--she says boil it for 15 minutes. Well I checked on it at about 12 and decided it was too cooked, so I pulled it and then cut up some more celery that I only cooked for about five. It then sat around all afternoon, cooling and drying, and then got tossed with some some carrots, onions and garlic that had sauteed in olive oil with thyme (instead of the bay leaves suggested, it was raining too hard to go out and pick some) and in went the wine to slowly simmer until the wine was gone and the vegetables just started to brown a little in the bottom of the pan. I halved the recipe and that made two nice but not overly generous bedding portions for the lamb meatloaf. Would be great on couscous.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Robin Garr » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:12 pm

Well, you made me go look. Sun was published in 1982, and Rose in 1976. I was a young adult then (yeah, I'm old ;) ) and just learning to do serious home cooking in the middle '70s. That was a great time for cookbooks ... I collected both original Marcella Hazan Italian books when they were new, and Claiborne's New York Times books and Franey's 60-Minute Gourmet, which showed me that you really can make a dinner in an hour. And then '82 was the first time Mary and I went to Europe together, landing in Rome and wandering all over Europe on a Eurailpass, so Sun hit just then. So, they don't seem so old to me, and they're still on my shelf in good shape except for the tattered covers. :)

As for veggie cooking, I've come to the point where I can take just about any recipe except maybe ossobuco and tweak the meat out of it yet still end up with something good. And yes, Provencal cooking works nicely that way!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:27 pm

Understood re taking the meat out--I know we can take the meat out of anything--but my point was that just about every vegetable dish she makes includes salt pork as a seasoning. I didn't use it, and so I wasn't recommending it her way. Loved the wine cook on that celery!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:22 am

Had a weekend with friends and we did a tapas night for their family.
The kids 5 of ‘em under 10 had their own table and were fed rice, Spanish meatballs, marinated chicken wings and steamed broccoli and were content. Of course they got dessert as well and had started with fresh blueberries and strawberries.
Grownups had a succession of dishes and my contribution was salted almonds, and beetroot crisps. An espresso glass of a tomatoey gazpacho garnished with a tiny dice of tomato,cucumber, green capsicum, redonion and teeny croutons. And a dish of king prawns in sherry.
My other task was to plan the sequence of dishes and keep the host under control, as he is inclined to overcater. Mission accomplished!
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:30 pm

Very Spanish! I love Spanish food, and you reminded me of a pork meatball dish involving tomatoes, cinnamon and copious quantities of garlic that I adore and haven't made in years and years. Think I might have to make that soon! And I love that you fed the kids fresh fruit for a starter snack.

Going out to dinner tonight after seeing a show (George Winston). Will be Korean BBQ--only the second time in my life for korean BBQ. I just haven't lived around Korean restaurants.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:29 pm

So tonight we're have our friends over, the Picky Eater couple. The husband half had major peridontal surgery last week and he's on a mandatory soft food diet which has completely exhausted their very short kitchen repertoire. He's been living on ground meat, eggs and mashed potatoes.

So I told them I'll be serving Gerber's Veal Parmesan. :)

So dinner will start with a very soft, wilted salad served in small canning jars about the size of baby food jars. Each will come with a spoon. Dave will get his wine served in a Tommy Tippy Cup. The main course will be ground veal cooked in rice with a lot of parmesan cheese that I'll mold into a rounded scoop, top with slivered "french" green beans cooked to a near mush state with browned butter and garlic, and garnish with a classic gremolata. For dessert, I'm going to make some ice cream bonbons mounted not on sticks but on baby pacifiers. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:50 pm

Tonight I'm going Thai: Tom Kha Gai (chicken, galangal, and coconut milk soup) and Pad Prik Gai Bai Krapow (stir-fried minced chicken with chiles and holy basil).

-Paul W.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:35 pm

Jenise wrote:So I told them I'll be serving Gerber's Veal Parmesan. :)

You're a dangerous lady when given a wicked notion. :shock:
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:35 pm

Well, I couldn't have more fun! This is much more interesting than merely making dinner. :)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:32 am

I received a shipment of native Aussie angasi oysters yesterday, thought I’d ordered 2 dozen and got 4dozen. They were nearly extinct and farming has restored their viability. I had never had the opportunity before.
In my hands within 26 hours of leaving the water in Tasmania
.
I hadn’t quite figured 48 oysters into my life. Also I’d neglected to take into account the fact I have an issue in my Dominant arm which makes some tasks painful.
So I shucked a dozen and ate them fresh with bread and butter and a glass or two of CLover Hill sparkling, from Tassie of course, they are pleasant but I wouldn’t rate them a ove the Sydney rock oyster.
Today I took a easy road to shucking, a quick zap in the microwave frees them without cooking (let them sit and they will close down so they still live.)
And then I re-read Consider the oyster by MFK Fisher one of my favourite writers and elected to make an oyster stew.
Checked the inter web for oyster stew recipes and Rejected them as way too many flavours and went back to Mary Frances.

Fresh shucked oysters
Sweet butter brought to foaming
Rich milk brought to a shimmer
Swirl together for literally a minute and season with a little hot sauce a little sweet sherry (drops not lots) and eat with a hot sour dough roll.
, or oyster crackers or buttered toast
Sensational. Rich and a clean oyster flavour.

The recipes I had looked at had, variously, celery, onion, shallots, garlic and sundry other aromatic things, and I would not have wanted them in my stew.

I have two dozen left and am considering (the oyster obviously) making an oyster loaf (or roll) a la MFK again, or perhaps a po’boy , Or both given I still have two dozed to play with.
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